PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS.
AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.
Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops off of the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.
Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.
Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:
“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”
“Bell Hammers” by Lancelot Schaubert is a delightful story that tells a wonderful message. Through tall tales, anecdote series, and uncertain recounts of Remmy’s childhood to end of life is being told by his grandson. We get to see many topics throughout ‘Bell Hammers’ such as community, corruption, corporate exploitation, friendship, consequences of pranks, guilt and redemption. That is not all the topics but a small part of what we see in “Bell Hammers”.
This was an interesting story, but it took me a little while to get into it. I have to admit this isn’t something I would read but I gave it a shot since I was contacted to .
In the beginning, when Remmy is a child was told as a bunch of random events from his childhood. This was to give some background and insight into Remmy’s character and his prankster ways which some were fun-filled while some were not. It shows his creative ways of money-making and how he started the house building company. It also shows his hatred towards the oil companies that affected the land he loved the most.
“Of course the boys had the last say. You don’t steal all the homing pigeons in the columbaria of a good night of Camelot and think you’re going to get away with it. So Remmy and a couple of others took to a couple of those poles with a camping hatchet. It was days and days of work for that gang of eight year olds, but they cut at it and cut at it and the thing finally fell with the great crash of an electrified redwood. All sparks and splinters. It cut out most of the service from the Triple-J Barbed Wire Telephone Company and started a small brush fire, so that was the end of that enterprise.”
The story unfolds how Remmy’s large scale prank on oil companies affected everyone in the community in a negative way and had serious consequences. As things unfolds through the story such as the engagement and getting out of jail it became more interesting. I enjoyed how the focus swayed to the grandkids instead of Remmy as now it was time to focus on his end of life story.
Overall, I quite enjoyed how it flowed. At times it was a little all over the place but in a good way. The most interesting point to me was the engagement scene
Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for a honest review that is my own opinions.
See my short review and others at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3591311532
Lancelot Schaubert has published work in anthologies like Author in Progress, Harry Potter for Nerds, and Of Gods and Globes — the last of which he edited and featured stories by Juliet Marillier (whose story was nominated for an Aurealis award), Anne Greenwood Brown, Dr. Anthony Cirilla, LJ Cohen, FC Shultz, and Emily Munro. Schaubert work Cold Brewed reinvented the photonovel for the digital age and caught the attention of the Missouri Tourism Board who commissioned him to write and direct a second photonovel, The Joplin Undercurrent, in partnership with award-winning photographer, Mark Neuenschwander.
Schaubert remains a committed husband to the grooviest girl on earth and is a public advocate for more free range trees. You know, Ents.
You can find out more on his website: http://lanceschaubert.org/about-lancelot/
Pine Enshrined Reviews
Click Here for All Social Media Links through Linktree
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog. This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways and upkeep of the blog!